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The Beeb in August

BBC Worldwide have announced their August DVD line-up - once again it looks like a broad range of tastes will be covered with this batch...

Doctor Who: The Movie is expected on 13 August. As always, this one is being put together under the watchful eye of the Doctor Who Restoration Team and stars Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor - in his only appearance to date. The story sees the Doctor go up against his arch-nemesis, The Master in the run up to the new millenium. With the Earth threatened with anhililation, the Doctor is our only chance. The DVD will feature interviews with the stars, producer and director, behind-the-scenes footage including a tour of the new TARDIS set, alternate versions of existing scenes and a photo gallery. Technically we have a 4:3 transfer with a stereo soundtrach and a retail price of £19.99.

Now for something a little different - some BBC classic award-winning dramas are also expected to make an appearance, all on 20 August. Each of the following discs will feature a 30 minute making-of documentary on the drama in question and 30 minutes of the specially composed music edited together. The programmes themselves are:

Wives and Daughters - After years as a widower, village doctor Mr Gibson has decided to remarry - soemthing for which his daughter Molly is unprepared. soon Molly's world is overturned by the arrival of a stepmother and a beautiful stepsister, Cynthia. The two girls form a close friendship - one that will be put to the test when the look set to become rivals in love. (411 minutes, £24.99)

Our Mutual Friend - The poor but captivating Lizzy Hexam is helping her father earn his unwholesome living on the banks of the Thamees. They recover a body that will link them to a world far distanced from their own - to the superficial world of Society and its endless round of dinner parties and breakfasts. This is a story of locve and money, misery and corruption in Victorian London. (410 minutes, £24.99)

Middlemarch - It is eatly nineteenth-century England. Doctor Lydgate takes his position at Middlemarh's new hospital with the intention of doing good small work for Middlemarch and great work for the world. Elsewhere in town, Dorothea Brooke finds herself drawn to the elderly but scholarly Edward Casaubon, hoping for a marriage of shared ideals and learning. Soon both find their cherished idealism tested by the demands of marriage and a changing society. (417 minutes, £24.99)

David Copperfield - A dazzling adaption which boasts a truly world-class cast, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Pauling Quirke and many others. Drawing on his own life, Dickens tells the tale of David from birth and an idyllic upbringing, through hardship and adventure to the eventual discover of his vocation as a successful novelist. (210 minutes, £19.99)

Finally, to round off, it's worth mentioning that Space is due for release on 3 December retailing at £34.99. Narrated by Sam Neill, this documentary uses groundbreaking 3D techniques to explore the cosmos. More details on this one once we have them...

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